Dear iDEALS, Playfully preppy | Cœur is the new menswear lifestyle brand for the modern day dandy. Ingrained into the clothing is the signature 100% silk jacquard fabric woven exclusively at one of England’s finest fabric mills. Luxurious and colourful, fused with slim cut clothing and quirky men’s neckwear for the youthful and confident gentlemen.
Cœur is a fresh and exciting menswear lifestyle brand that launched in 2012. The result of lead designer,Peter Jeun Ho Tsang, who graduated from a BA degree in Fashion Design and Development, and MA degree in Digital Fashion. Now a guest lecturer at London College of Fashion alongside the brand, he is combining his love for silk jacquard fabrics, bold and beautiful colour, soft tailoring, and quirky design detailing to generate a playfully preppy collection.
PeterJeunHoSang: From an early age, I always knew that I wanted to do my own thing upon graduating from my degrees (having studied my BA and MA at London College of Fashion); therefore everything centred on this idea that I would eventually launch my own brand. From the brand concept to the entire supply chain and product prototypes – everything slowly slotted into place as my coeur journey unfolded through explorative processes. I viewed it from a business angle, so even though I am product designer/developer at heart, everything had to make sense along the way.
Of course mistakes happened, however this is part of the learning process, and on the contrary, happy accidents also occurred. For example the 100% British silks that I now use within the entire product line. 2012 seemed to be right moment for the brand to launch, as well as myself being in the right frame of mind from a personal perspective – coeur, the playfully preppy seemed to be tuned enough for my future visions.
FM: Why you have chosen fashion as your profession in the first place.
PJHS: I think that fashion chose me to be honest. It was something that I was interested in at school, and I was able to naturally understand it. Fashion has given me a good grounding for a career and has given me context for my personal interests, but I’m a natural absorber of everything that is around me. Soaking in aspects of other industries, and fashion seems to be the medium that my inner thoughts come out as. If it were not fashion, it would definitely be another creative industry of some sort. I feel that most people in fashion are multi-talented and multi-skilled – in modern society we could all easily flit from one industry to the next, but there’s always one true calling.
PJHS:The Coeur modern day-dandy is my interpretation of fantasy worlds such as Waugh’s novel ‘Brideshead Revisited’ and Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, two big influences for the brand.
Filled with emotion, life, mystery and an alluring aura, this gentleman has something about him that makes you want to know more. Not necessarily the man who speaks the loudest or always grabs attention, but he certainly knows his place in the world. These two novels have heavily influenced me as a creator, and the coeur man is the tangible aspect that the consumer is able to engage with, and place the coeur products into a lifestyle setting. Lifestyle is important for me and I want my customers to be able to immerse themselves into the coeur world.
FM: And, who is this man?
PJHS: He is Julian – readers of the Coeur journal will know that this is the voice of Coeur who is beautifully illustrated by one of my graphic designers, Arena Page. He is cool, he is confident, he is coeur. He loves colour, textures, and anything that will enrich his personal interests. I would like the gentlemen that dress in coeur to feel comfortable and to be able to positively feel good about themselves. It is an understated notion of confidence through the clothing.
FM: Do you feel fashion is changing? To which direction?
PJHS:I certainly feel that menswear is growing and that now the male contemporary consumer is able to explore now more than ever before. Whether it is cut, silhouette, fabric or colour, there is more and more choice for the male fashionista. Traditional aspects of menswear will always be there, and I feel that it is certainly important that is not lost because that’s what makes menswear, but it is how we re-appropriate all of those design details into a modern context, which makes fashion and direction fresh and exciting again.
Certainly within the UK at the moment we are celebrating all things British, but it is also important that this is a sustainable future for fashion, through craftsmanship, traditional tailoring, and artisanal design. It would be a shame that the notions of Brand Britain were short lived just to satisfy the Queen’s Jubilee and the London Olympics.
FM: What is the most important thing a young designer must know?
PJHS: Hard word pays off. Fashion can be fickle. It won’t be rosy all the time and resilience is key to being a designer B. Business skills and acumen is paramount to surviving. Even if it does not come naturally then you must learn or seek others that can help you.
PJHS: At present, everything is slim cut and cropped from a tailoring point of view. The jackets are nipped in at the waist, shoulders are soft and narrow, hem lines are shorter, lapels are skinny and trousers are slim fitting with slim detailing to match. This is reflective of the modern man and current silhouettes. We will see that the opposite will happen in the future.
FM: How difficult/easy is to dress a man?
PJHS: I actually learnt womenswear at college, but for some reason I found more of a natural ability with menswear and everything seemed to fit because, of course I understand how clothing works on my own body. This methodology is what I apply when I’m designing for the male customer. Essentially I should and want to wear with the clothing that I am working with.
For men, it is more about the finer detailing, which I think completes the outfit for a man. The male customer also appreciates this from a quality point of view. Most men are able to achieve a clean-cut look, which for me I feel always works for a lot of situations. Of course, some men are less daring than others, and vice versa when some men just want everything in their outfits, so it is about creating a balance according to the persona.
FM: What shall we expect from you in the near future?
PJHS: With the brand coeur, you can expect lots more exciting silks to be produced. I am currently working on a new set of designs that will turn into tailored pieces. As the factory that I work with dates over 250 years old, there is a vast archive (which would excited any designer) and I am currently reviving a classic weave in silk jacquard – making it fresh and exciting for the contemporary consumer.
Aside from coeur, I also guest lecture at London College of Fashion, in which I love being with the students and being able to pass on knowledge. There’s also a few collaborations along the, which is making everything exciting for me right now, as a designer and as a businessman.
FM: What did you do yesterday? How was your day?
PJHS: My days vary so much – it’s just usually me running around. Yesterday though I actually had the pleasure of seeing my new silk fabrics produced for the first time. A side from that the usual business meetings, and a spot of cake and tea with a good friend, which is also important for any one to actually function the next day. There’s something about the ritual of cake and tea that makes me so happy.
FM: Your favorite song?
PJHS: Feeling Good – Michael Bublé version